'Becoming’ opens at Jerusalem’s Hansen House

A new exhibition attempts to reveal art’s inner self.

Aviv Livnat. ‘Stills’, Installation (photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
Aviv Livnat. ‘Stills’, Installation
(photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
In the heart of Jerusalem’s Talbiyeh neighborhood, nestled between the old Arab houses and the aged trees, lies Hansen House, the abandoned leper hospital turned art and multimedia center. Last week, Hansen House inaugurated a new exhibition called “Becoming.”
Spread out over several rooms on the main floor of the old hospital’s historic structure, “Becoming” showcases the works of eight Israeli artists, all dealing with the attempt to show that the medium is no longer relevant.
The show’s curator is Sharon Toval, a Bezalel graduate who has been involved in various Israeli contemporary art projects, such as the Tel Aviv Royal Beach’s “Digital Incubator” exhibition.
At the opening, Toval spoke with Billboard about the technical procedure of the curation.
“I chose to exhibit at Hansen House because it is also where the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design’s masters program is located,” he says. “This exhibition represents the final project of my Bezalel masters degree. My thesis on the subject began two years ago, though the technical process of working with the artists took about a year. This exhibition is the first outcome of my research and is the first in a series dealing with my findings.”
“Becoming,” says Toval, attempts to examine the world beyond the medium. It seeks to clarify whether the work of art is capable of providing visual and plastic expression to the essence being transmitted through the medium.
“The works on view are not being ‘exhibited’ in this exhibition but rather exist in it. All the artists participating are not just artists; they are also serious researchers and are well known on the Israeli art scene,” Toval says.
Among the eclectic works, there is a series of works by Ohad Matalon. He plays with geometric shapes and positive and negative light, representing a world where time is frozen in a continuous loop.
Ran Slavin’s LED lights and aluminum installation frame the doors and main hallway at the entrance to the Hansen complex, giving the feeling of an eerie intergallactic hub. It succeeds in absorbing the memories of the old walls, while flooding the space with a new energy.
Orly Hummel’s red fabric stripe and metal installation entitled September 2014 is scattered throughout the floor of the exhibition space and eternalizes the moment of inauguration, symbolizing both the end of a process and a new start.
Michel Platnic’s levitating video and sound installation Self Portrait As a Warrior can be appreciated from 360 degrees. It is accompanied by a recording of the artist reading texts by Shakespeare without stopping between words, suggesting that there is great importance in the empty spaces.
Alma Shneor’s Untitled (Inside, Outside) sand mandala installation and projection Grey Transition bring a burst of color and texture while examining the space between the positive and negative of a ray of light.
Aviv Livnat’s stills, video, text and sound installation includes projections on copper and a bass sound that can only be felt not heard, pointing to the fact that the empty space and the quiet are the medium itself.
Elad Shniderman’s Rooms in a Room is a piece that is comprised of a room filled with old television screens playing looped videos of different private rooms, each with its own sound playing simultaneously.
Adam Sher’s large In the Gap projection of ever-changing colors and tones fills up an entire room with life, bouncing the color onto the viewers, drawing them into the space and begging the questions Can light exist without space? Can space exist without light? When asked what changes occurred during the curation process, Toval says, “We started with 12 artists, and only eight made it to the final exhibition because not every artist can discuss this kind of metaphysical subject.”
Today at noon, there will be a guided tour of the exhibition by the curator and the artists. The exhibition will be on display through September 28. For more information, go to www.hansen.co.il.